Hot Topic Tuesday: Sisters in YA

I don’t know why, but I’m drawn to sister stories. I didn’t grow up with sisters, but that relationship has always intrigued me. With many of the sisters I know in real life, I see not only a bond that lasts well into their adult lives, but also a kind of competitiveness. Maybe competitiveness is not the right word—all people are not competitive by nature, after all, but I guess to me it seems like a sister is a measuring stick of sorts. For your whole life you will hold yourself mentally against that gauge to see how you measure up.

Is this true, or something I just made up? Because sometimes I do stuff like that. Like I said, I didn’t grow up with sisters, so this is all just speculation. But I love to spend time thinking about it, as I think the sisterly relationship is so incredibly complex and interesting.

I’ve just been reading BETWEEN HERE AND FOREVER, Elizabeth Scott’s new novel which releases today and we will be highlighting here tomorrow. I love this story. It is about two sisters, and through the book, the older “perfect” sister is in a coma. So it’s like the measuring stick is still there, but in a way it’s not. The main character, "second-best" Abby, spends much of her time fighting through her hatred for the measuring stick, but at the same time, recognizing her need for it.

It's such a compelling novel with deep, complex, emotional sister problems. Plus: there's an amazing boy. I'll I have to leave that for another blog post but, you know, just sayin'. 

There are so many stories, including my own, where I can see sisters measuring themselves against each other. Because I’ve never had a sister, I’d love to hear from you. Did you measure yourself against your sister growing up? Do you still?

And finally, what are some of your favorite novels that highlight sisterly relationships?


Lydia Sharp said...

I totally LOVE sister stories, too! I'm a middle sister, with one older sis and one younger.

I seem to be drawing a blank on YA sister stories (and I *know* I've read some good ones), but a really great sister novel in the women's fiction category is The Last Will of Moira Leahy by Therese Walsh. It's about twin sisters, and it flops back and forth between present day, when they are 25, and flashbacks from their childhood leading up to age 16 when a major/tragic event splits them up. (So I guess it's *partially* YA. haha.) The front story is told in one sister's pov and the flashbacks are told in her twin's pov. It really is one of the best books I've ever read.

Great post! Can't wait to read Elizabeth's new book. :D

We Heart YA said...

I'm an only child, mostly, but I had a "sister" growing up and two half-sisters, not to mention a couple best friends that may as well have been family. (It's complicated, as many modern families are nowadays.)

So yeah, I love sister stories. Anything about the bonds of female relationships really gets me, because I've had so many strong ones in my life.

It's not YA, but Amy Tan's HUNDRED SECRET SENSES is about sisters, and it's wonderful.

In recent YA, there are great sisters in ENTWINED by Heather Dixon!

Bookworm1858 said...

I love sister stories (I just created a goodreads shelf for me to track sister books). As the eldest, I feel pressure to serve somewhat as a role model for my sister and I know that my parents have pressured her to live up to my academic standards, whether or not she can.

Rec: The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, and June by Robin Benway; I also second Entwined. And of course not quite YA but perennial favorites Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility have tons about sisters and their relationships.

Ricki Schultz said...

I've always been a sucker for sister stories as well. Well, any sibling story, really (I'm an only child).

Can't WAIT to hear more about this one! I'll def be back tomorrow!

Melissa Sarno said...

I love sister stories too. I am an only child so I don't have any sisters but it is one of my favorite relationships to read and write about (up there with mother/daughter). I recently read "The Sky is Everywhere" and even though it is about one sister coping with the death of the other, it still has that measuring stick theme.

1000th.monkey said...

I haven't read many sister stories, but I'll probably pick that one up 'cause I like the author.

I have one older sister and we were born 18 months apart. Perhaps because we're so close in age, we didn't get along very well. She's always accuse me of copying her, even when I liked/was doing something first.

We only really started to become *friends* after she moved out and weren't pushing into each other's space all the time (and sharing a bathroom).

I suppose I'd like to read sister stories that weren't idealized, that have all the undertones of resentment and competitiveness that siblings have with each other.

Actually, I'm working on edits for a story with two brothers as the main characters, so those are things I'm thinking about right now :)

Adeeva Afsheen said...

Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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